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May 4, 2021 | In the Community

Union Carpenters Help Build a Food Forest in Mattapan


Local 327 Keisha Campbell

For the ninth year, the Sisters in the Brotherhood chapter in Boston partnered with Rebuilding Together Boston (RTB) volunteering their time and skills to work on projects that helps low-income families in the city.

Pre-COVID, these events would have over 700 volunteers including dozens of union carpenters working on several projects in Boston. Although it was scaled back considerably for safety reasons this year, it didn’t interfere with the significance of the project.

In just two days, volunteers including Local 327 Business Representative/Organizer Liz Skidmore and Local 327’s Keisha Campbell and Giovanni Andino transformed an empty plot of land in Mattapan into a community garden, a pavilion for hosting community events, yoga classes, and live music, and even created a walnut-processing station to help neighbors make the most of the natural resource as a number of black walnut trees are indigenous to the neighborhood.

“The task of building the pagoda was very easy for me because of the training I’ve received from the union.  It’s also a great feeling that they could count on me and see me as an experienced carpenter, not a woman helper,” said Keisha Campbell. “It was an amazing experience and makes me feel very happy that I’m giving back.  The union did a lot for me so that I have the experience to give back.”

“The transformation over two days was incredible. This empty lot will now be a “food forest” and a gathering spot for the Edgewater Street neighborhood in Mattapan. I love what union carpenters bring to the table!” said Liz Skidmore.